In almost any shop today, you’re likely to find to coordinate measuring machines responsible wholly or at least in part for that shop’s inspection process. Part of their increased presence in manufacturing is higher demand for the accuracy of components, as customers require tolerances that only coordinate measuring machines can provide. If you’re worried your shop is falling behind when it comes to inspection, it’s time to start working with an independent metrology supplier. Below you will find six great reasons to rely on an independent firm over an auction house or the OEM.
#1 Buying Used
An independent metrology supplier should be your first source for a used coordinate measuring machine, offering the considerable savings available from buying used alongside the guarantee that the technology will perform when it’s on your shop floor. For a full list of used coordinate measuring machines from reliable dealers, check out Cmmxyz.com/used-cmms and request a quote, a video, or a chance to see the equipment in action. Never invest in metrology equipment that you haven’t seen in use, repositioning and performing inspection routines.
The hardware on these machines can last for decades and with older equipment, especially if you’ve bought it used, can often come with controllers and software from another era. Metrology software has made leaps and bounds and it’s usually the most frequently-updated part of a machine, along with the controllers to match. However, upgrades and retrofits can also involve features like the probing system, improve the machine’s accuracy, or even mechanically refurbish the entire system.
#3 Repairs and Calibrations
Coordinate measuring machines need to be regularly certified to check that they remain accurate and, when they aren’t, recalibrated. One of the advantages of working with an independent metrology retailer such as Canadian Measurement Metrology, or CMM, is that the purchase of the equipment is only the beginning of an ongoing relationship, as they can make certification and recalibration simple. They can also provide Renishaw probe repairs that same day, so that you can minimize downtime in the inspection department.
Any time you purchase new technology for your shop, you have to make sure you have the personnel who can operate it – yet another cost added to your investment in metrology. It takes time and money to send employees away to learn how to use PC-DMIS software and that can set your shop back due to the shortage of hands. That’s why many shops have begun using e-courses like the CMM E-Learning package for PC-DMIS, a classroom alternative that gives operators a chance to learn how to program without leaving the shop, as well as providing a valuable library of information for further reference.
#5 Sell Your Old Equipment
As your shop grows and responds to changing demands, your inspection needs will change as well, and old coordinate measuring machines may not be able to keep up. You can offset the cost of a new investment by selling your old equipment, which will be thoroughly inspected and (if need be) repaired before resale.
#6 Contract Services
Last but not least, you can rely on an independent metrology house to bail you out when you’ve got a problem, whether it’s a bottleneck you just can’t overcome or a problem on your line that you can’t identify. Contract metrology can be done in-house or sent to their lab, depending on the equipment needed to perform the job, and it’s a great way to inspect “one-off” production runs that require specific inspection equipment. Don’t let yourself get swamped; make sure you can call metrology professionals you can trust to help you out of a bind.